San Francisco magic mushroom and tattoo enthusiasts gathered in SoMa on Oct. 14 for the first-ever Myco Tattoo Party—a secret celebration of psychedelics and mushroom-inspired flash tattoos.
The event was organized by magic mushroom cultivator Myco, who runs the Instagram account myco.oakland.inc. In recent years, Myco’s account has amassed an underground following in the Bay Area’s psychedelic scene, specifically for his pink-colored magic mushroom microdose capsules and fungi-inspired urban streetwear.
Myco said his inspiration for having an event—which combined a typical Friday the 13th flash tattoo event with psychedelic mushrooms—came a few months back while he was getting a tattoo from his cousin, Lance Trujillo of South San Francisco, who was one of Saturday’s featured artists.
“It was something that was hella natural,” Myco said, who wouldn’t share his real name due to legal concerns with his mushroom-growing enterprise. “I was getting tatted and had this idea. In the months after, we talked about it and started piecing it together.”
Trujillo said he designed a portion of the flash tattoos, which ranged from wild mushrooms to his cousin’s Myco. Oakland logo, which was created out of inspiration of the city of Oakland’s interwoven tree and a mushroom cloud. In total, 15 people at the event got mushroom-inspired tattoos.
“It’s cool because I can put my own twist on it, get my art out there and give people what they want,” Trujillo said. “Some people just come to look at the vendors but then they see that tattoos are being done and it opens their eyes.”
Earlier in the afternoon, Trujillo tattooed an attendee with her first tattoo. He credited her desire to get a tattoo with the open-mindedness the event offered.
“She really liked it and was surprised that the pain level wasn’t what she thought it would be,” he said.
Both Brian Smith and Diana Aguirre were tattooed during the event and said they often microdose mushrooms and have both previously wanted to get mushroom-inspired tattoos.
“It's been something that I’ve wanted to do for a while, and it was a good environment for me to do it in,” Smith said. “The vibe was definitely, in my opinion, great because it wasn’t too crowded.”
For Aguirre, meeting other women in the mushroom community was one of the surprises she experienced during the event.
“It was interesting to see other girls too that are around the mushroom community that I didn’t know existed,” she said.
The format of the event, Myco said, was pulled from “seshs” which have grown popular among those in the cannabis community all along the West Coast.
“Seshs,” short for sessions, are a sort of intimate mercantile market. They are often advertised online, where cultivators and growers sell their products in hopes of expanding their brands by meeting their customers face to face—they can sometimes be held in secret locations to evade law enforcement or city officials.
Saturday’s event, however, wasn’t meant to purely have that “sesh” feel, according to Myco.
“I wasn’t trying to have it be so uptight,” he said, acknowledging that a feeling of competition usually overshadows cannabis events. “There weren’t big ass bags of weed or anything like that, and that’s a credit to the people involved.”
Smith said he’s been to “seshs” before but that the mushroom tattoo event wasn’t as pushy as its cannabis counterpart.
“I’ve never been to something that a mushroom company threw,” he said. “A lot of weed seshs and other cannabis events are really pushy, but this was a vibe where you felt like you could just chill out.”
In addition to tattoos, party attendees had their choice of vendors selling desserts and cakes, freshly squeezed juices to exclusive Bathing Ape apparel from Japan.
Both Smith and Aguirre bought a microdose smoothie, sea moss, hash and some cheesecake desserts.
“To be honest with you, the tattoo was enticing. The fact it was about 100 bucks,” Smith said.
Myco said he is hoping to make the flash tattoo party an annual event, although he expressed interest in possibly moving the location across the bridge in Oakland or even in Los Angeles if he can get local brands he knows to sponsor it.
His goal? To bring together the “headiest” people in the cannabis and psychedelic communities together in the same room.
“Trying to just link everyone together at one spot,” he said, adding that he still has somewhat of a clandestine aura of semi-anonymity attached to his name since most people don’t know what his appearance is.
While San Francisco and Oakland have essentially decriminalized psychedelics like magic mushrooms, it is still classified as a Schedule I controlled substance federally. Also, California Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed the most recent statewide decriminalization bill introduced by San Francisco state Sen. Scott Wiener.
Newsom’s recent decision isn’t worrying Myco, as he doesn’t see decriminalization and legalization turning mushrooms into the next “cash crop.”
“I don’t think it matters. Right now, it is bad to get into the mushroom game. It doesn’t make sense. There’s a lot of people who failed or are currently failing in the cannabis industry trying to go into mushrooms,” he said. “You can only eat so many mushrooms before you’re burnt out.”
Joel Umanzor can be reached at email@example.com